K STEPHEN GOSTKOWSKI
*(on building off his great rookie season) *
"I think the best thing that helped was being on a good team with guys who know how to win and expect to do good things. The upper-class guys that we have, who are so professional, know how to deal with distractions and everything else. They know how to win. It's contagious. When everybody on your team is hitting in baseball, you're going to get a hit, too. That's the way I feel when the team is playing well. It's makes it feel like I am going to play well. You don't want to be the guy who messes it up for this team. I think everybody feels that way. Coach (Bill) Belichick tells us all the time, 'Do your job and trust that the guy next to you will do his.' I am not worried about anybody's else's job. I am just worried about mine, so they don't have to worry about me."
*(on if he wants to hit a game-winning Super Bowl kick) *
"It doesn't matter. I just want to win, whatever it takes to win. If we win 45-0, I don't care. It doesn't matter what it is for me; I just want to win. Whatever helps the team out – and if it comes to (a game-winning kick situation) – I want to pull through for my team."
*(on how he relaxes knowing it's the Super Bowl) *
"I am always pretty relaxed out there, whatever the situation. It doesn't matter what situation, I have to be relaxed and focused on what I have to do. There is pressure on every kick I have to make every week. Just because it's the Super Bowl, that's not going to be on my mind when I am on the field. This is a game. It's a game we have to win. That is how I am approaching it. I don't think of it any differently. Last week was a game that led to the Super Bowl. When I actually get out there and play the game, it doesn't seem any different than when I was playing in high school. So, I just attack it like that and do my best to help the team win."
CB ELLIS HOBBS
*(on the talking going on off the field this week) *
"In this game, I like to look at it more as all the talk off the field is just words. At the end of the day, they are just words. The game has to be settled in between the white lines."
*(on the Giants offense) *
"They are a big team. They are a big physical team. They want to come out there and intimidate you. They just try to go out there and execute their game plan as physically as possible. Offensively, they've been on the road ever since they've played us. They got a lot of confidence from our game as far as what they could execute and what they could do. Now how poorly or well we played is in our opinion. From their stand point and how they are looking at things, they really see opportunities out there. It's going to be our job to go out there and shut that down."
*(on his Super Bowl experience) *
"It's been great. I've been experiencing the moments and enjoying it. The one thing I did regret was not bringing out my family a little bit earlier. I could have enjoyed the time with them because I have a little down time right now and that would have been nice. I'm taking lots of pictures and just talking to people among the league and other guys who have played this game. I'm loving it."
*(on living for moments) *
"It might sound arrogant, but I live for moments like this. This is what you work for. This is why you run in the Summer time. This is why you throw up in the Summer time. This is why you go through training camp and get in the ice tubs and things like that. Back in July, we weren't thinking that far ahead, but once you reach this level, you know it's all worthwhile."
*(on any surprises with his Super Bowl experience) *
"I understood the magnitude of the game. I thought I knew how much publicity it would be, but on every channel, and dealing with every single thing, you just can't get away from it right now. It's just a big circus. You have all kinds of questions asked of you, whether they're related to the game or personal. It's just a big circus and it's only Wednesday. It's about to get worse. Thank god we have curfew."
*(on if he gets the jitters before a game) *
"We're professionals. Just like any job, you have to be professional with your job. I don't really get anxious or anything like that. I just anticipate the moment. Your blood starts to flow a little bit faster. Your heart beat races. Your body is just getting you ready for what you are about to go through. My mind is in a very calm state though as far as the game. I'm not breathing hard, hyperventilating or anything like that at this stage of my career. I take the game for what it is. It's still the game of football. No matter how big the game is, it's still a game of football. Whatever I've done to get myself here and whatever we've done as a team, we just need to continue to do it. It'll really hit me once we walk out of that tunnel for the final time to start the game. As of right now, I'm feeling just calm and relaxed."
*(on LB-Junior Seau's talks before the game) *
"I enjoy those talks. I look at him like guy with a lot of wisdom. When he talks, you can't help but listen. There's a key phrase in everything he says for life; not just for football. I enjoy those moments."
*(on WR-Plaxico Burress' promise of victory on Sunday) *
"It is what it is. The one thing I admire about that is he has the confidence to say it. Obviously you know how this teams works. We don't do things like that. We let our play do the talking. If that's how you feel, then who am I to stop you. It's been proven time and time again in the sports world guarantees can be fulfilled. It's also been proven that when they go down, they go down. I admire the confidence and I respect him (Burress) as an athlete and as a competitor, so we'll see on Sunday."
*(on the confidence of the Patriots defensive backs) *
"We have a lot of confidence back there. Everybody has a different personality and everybody has a different role in the defense. Everybody views me as a role guy as far as going in and doing certain jobs and getting the job done. Asante (Samuel) makes the big plays. Hot Rod (Rodney Harrison) makes the big hits. James (Sanders) is the field general and directs us back there. We are just four guys who love working together. For some reason, we just all mesh together. We are always on the same page."
*(on his thoughts of when the football is in the air) *
"It's mine. It's as much as it is mine as it is the receiver's. When the quarterback throws the ball, I feel he's throwing it to me too. When that ball is in the air, it doesn't necessarily have to be theirs."
*(on what he feels is different with the Giants now) *
"Confidence. They are executing their game plan to the fullest. They are hitting the comebacks. They are hitting the curves. They are hitting the deep balls and the big plays. They are out there consistently doing their jobs. Whether it's blocking in the run game, getting that extra yard or making that special teams tackle that they need. Every player is stepping it up. They did it at the right time."
RB LAURENCE MARONEY
*(on if playing in the Super Bowl is bigger than playing in the Music City Bowl) *
"It's definitely bigger. There is nothing that can compare to this."
(on if it's nice to be a feature back after sharing the load)
"Even sharing the load I felt I was a featured back. We still averaged about 20 carries a piece. We were still doing our thing. It's a little different now than it was then."
*(on if he is surprised the University of Minnesota's football program wasn't more successful with him and Marion Barber) *
"We had a strong offense and an average defense. Sometimes we couldn't figure out ways to finish the games off. We would be in the game for the most part, but we couldn't finish it."
(on what he thinks about the University of Minnesota's head coach Tim Brewster and the football program)
"He changed the whole offense around. It was pretty new to the guys. Hopefully next year they'll come out and get a good recruiting class and do a little bit better than what they did this year."
*(on whether playing in the Super Bowl is a long way from Normandy High School) *
"I would have never imagined, coming out of Normandy, making it this far."
*(on being a key to the offense) *
"It's been a patient year for me. The pass came out strong. We were doing real well in the pass. I was just going to be patient. I knew sooner or later, the weather was going to be on my side and allow me to get my runs off."
*(on if he is hoping for rain or cold weather) *
"Snow. I don't know what to expect. I think we might come out and showboat and make them respect both the run and pass – and make them play honest and have a balanced team coming into the game."
*(on if he had fresher legs towards the end of the season) *
"I'd rather have fresh legs now, than fresh legs then. I think it all worked out for me in the long run."
*(on if he realized the Patriots did not run the ball often when playing in good weather) *
"I didn't know how to look at it. The passing game was getting off. It was hot. We had new faces in the receiving corps and the quarterback wanted to hook up with them. The running game just wasn't there. Not to say it wasn't there, it just wasn't used. The passing game was having us beat teams by a lot of points so we didn't really need the run game then. When we needed the run game in a stretch when the weather started getting real cold and Tom (Brady) couldn't throw all the passes down the field, I think the run game stepped up and showed that we do have a run game."
*(on if he thinks he has proven over the past few weeks he can be a featured back) *
"I hope so. I hope I did. There were a lot of critics and a lot of questions. I hope a lot of questions got answered. If not, I'm going to continue to do me."
*(on if coming out of the Pac 10 he thought he would be part of an undefeated team) *
"I really didn't watch college football. When I went to the University of Minnesota, I didn't know what to expect. Marion (Barber) and I started to have success and I thought me and Marion might go to the next level. Never in a million years did I think I would be on this team with this type of success."
*(on if he is intimidated by the Super Bowl stage) *
"It's definitely not (intimidating). This whole week has been fun. I hope I get my opportunity to show the world that I can run the ball on this type of stage. There's no better stage. You know everybody in the world is going to be watching. This is a good game to set the foundation for the run game."
*(on if he speaks with Dallas Cowboys RB Marion Barber) *
"I talked to him yesterday. Over the summer we cracked jokes about when we play each other, how it's going to be and we hoped to see each other in the Super Bowl. I was going for them, hoping we would get a chance to see them. I did get a chance to play against him when we played them in the regular season. I was hoping to get back on the field with my teammate in crime and go out there and show who the best Gopher back is."
*(on if playing in the Super Bowl is his chance to establish himself as a premier running back) *
"The last five weeks I've been establishing myself in the run game and letting everyone know that I have some ability to run the ball in the NFL. I just want to continue it and make it better on this stage."
*(on if he just needed an opportunity to show he can play in the NFL) *
"That's all anybody can ask for is an opportunity."
*(on having a difficult time in Week 17 against the Giants) *
"We were going in without our tight ends. It's kind of hard to run the ball without the tight ends. They have a tough defense and they have two of the best defensive ends on the edge. Hopefully we'll be a little bit better. We have our tight ends back and we're a little bit fresher. Hopefully we can establish the run game against the Giants."
*(on if he's old enough to appreciate all that comes with playing in the Super Bowl) *
"Most definitely, you never know when you're going to get back (here). It's nothing that you want to take for granted and just be happy that you made it here. You really want to make it memorable because you never know when you're going to get the opportunity to come back here."
*(on whether the game against the Giants in Week 17 was one of his best games) *
"It was a good game. I ran the ball hard and made a couple of touchdowns and made a couple of plays. You always want to get better. You never want to settle for less. You always want to try to get better."
*(on the Patriots using him more in short yardage situations) *
"It lets me know that they believe in me and it allows me to get the ball down there when we're in the red zone. They have faith in me that I can punch the ball in. It lets me know that they believe and do have trust in me."
*(on what would be his dream game on Sunday) *
"I've always dreamed about playing this game. A dream finish for me is scoring the game-winning touchdown. That will put the icing on the cake for me."
*(on if the Patriots' game plan on Sunday will feature a balanced attack) *
"I hope so. I hope we are. That will be the best bet to come out balanced and let them pick and choose which one they want to take away – the run game or the pass game. Hopefully, they don't take away the run game."